TV Viewpoint: Your Home Made Perfect and The Good Fight

In a week when we’ve been instructed to tuck up safe and sound and interact with precisely no other households, you’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the new Angela Scanlon fronted home décor show, newly airing on RTE Two on Wednesdays at 8:00pm. If you can’t show your home off to anyone, why even bloody well bother?

Sure, what’s wrong with an artfully constructed assembly of Covid-weary aquired wine bottles with candles of varying lengths in them, arranged on windowsills a la your student days? Or a veil of dust in a chic shade of grey laid just-so over your gym or sports equipment, a film fallen and accumulated gently over the weeks, as numbers begin to rise and hope starts to be lost? Nothin’! Unless we want to slip slowly into a world-weary despair that’s not necessarily ineveitable.

So, let’s not bash poor Angela or the RTE programme schedulers over the heads just yet for their unfortunate timing; what’s done is done, and in this new realm of escapism why not latch on to it and make plans for when the country, and our homes re-open to others once more?

There’s only so much not-tidying-away pizza boxes that are stacking up in front of the telly box one can do, you know.

Anyway, Your Home Made Perfect first aired on BBC Two in April, 2019, when the sun shone warmly every day, the ends of every rainbow plopped out pots of gold and everyone, regardless of creed or kin, lived in perfect harmony.

Angela Scanlon with clients Esther and Andy, in Your Home Made Perfect

Different times, better times, more rose-tinted times that we can emulate and pretend are happening right now, with the help of a bit of imagination and supplies from local businesses, which are still open and happy to help.

Relentlessly perky Scanlon, in pushy, overly familiar new-best-friend mode fronts the show alongside two architects Laura and Robert, who dream up competing designs for homeowners to choose from, shown to them after a consultation, through the cutting-edge means of virtual reality.

Couple Esther and Andy‘s family home is in a great location but is full of space issues. The biggest problem is having to move the dining table after every meal, as it jostles for space with their three kids’ toys. The couple have decided that they need an extension, but are at odds at what to do with the original space.

With a lot of home improvement shows, the middle bit is basically all filler, with the beginning showing the original state of the house and then the end result being the most interesting. Here, the gimmicky virtual reality bit turns out to be really pretty nifty; the architect can give the client (and the viewers) a great understanding of how their current space can be transformed by digitally inserting themselves in a 3D version that moves around them at the architect’s will.

There’s still a lot of talky, explainey bits and slightly annoying input from the presenter, but for home design junkies, and dreamers of a time when we can entertain again, it’s not a bad addition to the canon.

We all may feel like we’re in a crazy fever dream, but Diane Lockhart actually is. In a twist to the nightmare that we’re all collectively experiencing, Lockhart has found herself in a world where Trump never became president, and Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election.

The Good Fight started its fourth season on RTE One on Thursday night, and although we’re a little bit behind its original US broadcast date in April, it’s really quite a perfect time for it to air here in the Emerald Isle, for those of us who are glued to the real-life soap opera that is the American presidential election campaign.

The Good Fight

The show, unusually, takes a staunch policital position, being vehemently anti-Trump. Reflected in this typically genre-expanding first episode, the spin off of The Good Wife continues its predecessor’s legal drama with bite background, but builds on the more off the wall, experimental aspects of prime time TV that have been making waves since the success of weirder shows like Twin Peaks and The Leftovers. It’s a very clever “what if?” premise, that studies the positive repercussions of scandals like Trump’s win and the Harvey Weinstein revelations. A great start to the new season, and very timely in helping us count the blessings we actually do still have.

  • First published in The Tuam Herald on 21 10 20

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